In a move it says is in reaction to the new GST (Goods and Services Tax), Amazon has said that shoppers down under will no longer be able to buy from Amazon international sites and will rather be redirected to amazon.com.au.
The new GST laws come into force on July 1st and mean businesses with a turnover of $75,000 AUD a year anywhere in the world must charge Australia’s 10% (GST) on low value items imported by consumers. Previously it had only been applicable to imports valued at $1000 AUD. We wrote about the new GST here.
Australians trying to visit any international Amazon site will be returned to Amazon Australia and only able to choose from the estimated 60 million products sold there. That’s a blow to shoppers because it is significantly less than 500 million products available on Amazon.com. As small consolation, 4 million products that were available only Amazon US can be bought in the new Global Store. Reports in the Australian press also make it clear that shoppers are not at all pleased with this development, as this report on ABC shows.
From a merchant point of view, it’s not clear if FBA will still be available to Amazon international sellers. Although the Global Store might be part of a plan there. And certainly for the time being, until clearer details and guidance become available, it’s prudent to suspend any plans you have to make an Amazon foray down under.
As a result of changes to Australian GST law on 1 July, international shopping options for Australian customers will change. While we regret any inconvenience this may cause customers, we have had to assess the workability of the legislation as a global business with multiple international sites. Based on our assessment, we will redirect Australian customers from our international sites to amazon.com.au where they can shop for products sold by Amazon US on the new Global Store, available today. This will allow us to provide our customers with continued access to international selection and remain compliant with the law which requires us to collect and remit GST on products sold on Amazon sites that are shipped from overseas.
– Amazon spokesperson (to Techcrunch)
Obviously, part of the appeal is the Amazon international reach and this is dented by this move in Australia. As it stands, not many details are available but we’ll be sure to return to this subject as we learn more.